Tajmahal

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal (English pronunciation: /ˈtɑːʒ məˈhɑːl/; Hindi: ताज महल Persian/Urdu: تاج محل) is a located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Construction of Tajmahal was began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen.
The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer.

History

Soon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was dethrone by his son Aurangzeb and put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort.

Upon Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb buried him in the mausoluem next to his wife in Tajmahal.By the late 19th century, parts of the buildings had fallen badly into disrepair. During the time of the Indian rebellion of 1857, the Taj Mahal was defaced by British soldiers and government officials, who chiseled out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. At the end of the 19th century, British viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a massive restoration project, which was completed in 1908. He also commissioned the large lamp in the interior chamber, modeled after one in a Cairo mosque. During this time the garden was remodeled with British-style lawns that are still in place today.

Architecture

The Taj Mahal was built on a parcel of land to the south of the walled city of Agra. Shah Jahan presented Maharajah Jai Singh with a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the land. An area of roughly three acres was excavated, filled with dirt to reduce seepage, and leveled at 50 metres (160 ft) above riverbank. In the tomb area, wells were dug and filled with stone and rubble to form the footings of the tomb. Instead of lashed bamboo, workmen constructed a colossal brick scaffold that mirrored the tomb. The scaffold was so enormous that foremen estimated it would take years to dismantle. According to the legend, Shah Jahan decreed that anyone could keep the bricks taken from the scaffold, and thus it was dismantled by peasants overnight. A fifteen kilometer (9.3 mi) tamped-earth ramp was built to transport marble and materials to the construction site and teams of twenty or thirty oxen pulled the blocks on specially constructed wagons. An elaborate post-and-beam pulley system was used to raise the blocks into desired position. Water was drawn from the river by a series of purs, an animal-powered rope and bucket mechanism, into a large storage tank and raised to a large distribution tank. It was passed into three subsidiary tanks, from which it was piped to the complex.The plinth and tomb took roughly 12 years to complete. The remaining parts of the complex took an additional 10 years and were completed in order of minarets, mosque and jawab, and gateway. Since the complex was built in stages, discrepancies exist in completion dates due to differing opinions on "completion". For example, the mausoleum itself was essentially complete by 1643, but work continued on the rest of the complex. Estimates of the cost of construction vary due to difficulties in estimating costs across time. The total cost has been estimated to be about 32 million Rupees at that time.The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia and over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials. The translucent white marble was brought from Rajasthan, the jasper from Punjab, jade and crystal from China. The turquoise was from Tibet and the Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, while the sapphire came from Sri Lanka and the carnelian from Arabia. In all, twenty eight types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble.A labour force of twenty thousand workers was recruited across northern India. Sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from southern India, stonecutters from Baluchistan, a specialist in building turrets, another who carved only marble flowers were part of the thirty-seven men who formed the creative unit.

Taj Mahal
Bus Facilities:
Agra has well connected road network and as it is just 203 kilometres from Delhi and about 235 kilometres from Jaipur. It is easily accessible from both the places . �
Train Facilities
Well connected railway network makes trains the most convenient way to reach to Agra. The airconditioned Shatabdi Express leaves New Delhi at 6am daily , reaches Agra Cantt. Railway Station in only two hours.Another option for the traveler is the Taj Express ,which departs from Hazrat Nizamuddin Station,New Delhi at 715am and 945am Both trains return to Delhi again in the evening, making even a day excursion to Agra possible. The Railway Station is also known as Raja-ki-Mundi Railway Station
Air Facilities:
The airport at Agra is Kheria which is located 7km from the heart of the city.Regular flights from Delhi can be taken to Agra , it takes only half an hour to reach Agra by air. The Indian Airlines / Alliance Air's flight from Delhi (35 min, four times a week) connects Delhi to Agra. The Agra airport is also known as Agra Civil Enclave and is 6 km from downtown Sadar Bazaar.It is only a domestic airport so the international traveler need to halt at Delhi airport and then come to Agra in the Reaching Agra by Train
Ways to Reach Agra - Reach Agra and the Agra is world famous for its prime tourist attraction the Taj Mahal.This wonder of the world has mesmerized tourists always and the reason why Agra figures prominently on the tourist's map in the Ways to Reach Agra.

 

Facts about ShahJhan

Before being crowned, Emperor Shah Jahan was popular by the name Prince Khurram.

Mumtaz Mahal was Shah Jahan's third wife. She was earlier known by the name Arjumand Bano Begum.

Mumtaz Mahal lost her life giving birth to Shah Jahan's 14th child.

To build Taj Mahal, about 1000 elephants were employed that transferred the construction material from one place to another.

Taj Mahal is adorned with an assortment of 28 precious and semi-precious stones.

Depending upon what time of the day or night it is and whether or not it is a moonlit night, Taj Mahal appears to be of different colours.

While roaming in Taj Mahal complex, you can see different versus of Quran written everywhere.

For the construction of Taj Mahal, the materials were brought from different cities and countries, Srilanka, Afghanistan, China, Tibet,Punjab, Rajasthan,   Afganistan, Srilanka,  and Arabia.

Legend has it that Shah Jahan wanted to construct another Taj Mahal using black marble but he could not do so, owing to increasing wars with his sons.